The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling for the boycott of AnyVision, Israelâs facial recognition technology firm, due to its irrefutable complicity in Israelâs occupation and repression of Palestinians.Â
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls for boycotting AnyVision, Israelâs facial recognition technology firm, due to its irrefutable complicity in Israelâs occupation and repression of Palestinians.
AnyVision profits from Israelâs violations of Palestinian human rights and exports its repressive surveillance technology globally.
With offices in Tel Aviv, New York, Mexico, London, Belfast and Singapore, the company was founded in 2015 and has quickly gained investments, contracts and joint ventures with the Israeli military, governments and companies internationally.
Human Rights Watch hasÂ calledÂ onÂ MicrosoftÂ to review its investments in AnyVision given the âhuman rights risk associated with the investment in a company thatâs providing [facial recognition] technology to an occupying power.â AnyVision violates MicrosoftâsÂ own principlesÂ on facial recognition because they provide technology used for unlawful surveillance.
Spanish telecommunications transnationalÂ TelefĂłnicaÂ andÂ G4SÂ also use AnyVisionâs technology. TheÂ city of Nice, France, surveils citizens with AnyVision and entry to theÂ London stadiumÂ was surveilled by AnyVision last summer.
Enabling the occupation
AnyVision plays aÂ direct roleÂ in Israelâs military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, which includes Israelâs illegal wall and military checkpoints. According to the Israeli army, AnyVision is part of a âprogram to upgradeâ military checkpoints in the West Bank through adding technology for new âidentification and inspection stationsâ. Anyvision also maintains cameras for the Israeli military deep inside the West Bank to spy onÂ Palestinians and enable the Israeli militaryâs illegal targeting of civilians.
AnyVisionÂ promotesÂ itself as a company of âAI Designers & Security Veteransâ withÂ over 20 years of âfield experienceâ. AnyVision president, Amir Kain, is former head of the security department at Israelâs Ministry of Defense. One of its advisers, Tamir Pardo, is former head of the Mossad, Israelâs intelligence agency.
Israelâs âdefenseâ ministry is responsible for carrying out repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including massacres in Gaza and ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem. The Mossad is a criminal agency that directly enables violations of international law and Palestinian human rights through illegal covert operations and extra-judicial killings.
The Israeli governmentÂ systematically supportsÂ private companies in exporting its repressive technology and tactics for profit. The profits made from this dirty business serve to offset Israelâs military spending and other costs of its apartheid regime.
Civil rights organizations and academics in the U.S. have raised alarm over the use of facial recognition. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) hasÂ warnedÂ that this technology has âenormous civil liberties implicationsâ, and legal scholar Woodrow HartzogÂ describedÂ it as âthe most uniquely dangerous surveillance mechanism ever inventedâ.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) appeals to people of conscience to boycott and divest from AnyVision until it ends its violations of human rights worldwide. In particular, we call for pressure on Microsoft to drop its shameful relationship with and investment in AnyVision as they violate Microsoftâs own principles on facial recognition.
The BDS movement has also called for a boycott of HP companies due to their deep complicity in Palestinian human rights violations. Their complicity is now deeper given their collaboration with AnyVision.
We call on academic institutions and conscientious academics to refrain from collaborating with AnyVision in order not to provide scholarly legitimacy to grave violations of international law.